All posts filed under: Fat Nancy’s Dubai

Khan Murjan – A restaurant in a ‘pyramids’ themed mall?

FNND has discovered a handful of interesting eateries  in Dubai. Some are lovely venues, some serve great food and some are just a bit different from the Dubai ‘norm’ of  gaudy seven star hotels that leave you with a seven star feeling of nausea. But can you take a Riad styled Arabian restaurant set in a fake Egyptian tomb seriously? we headed down to Khan Murjan to find out.   Khan murjan is a beautiful setting of an open air courtyard or Riad – which manages to cover all bases… Excellent live, traditional music that is relaxing and not overbearing. It takes a bit of finding though, located at the bottom of a huge sweeping stone staircase in an old ‘style’ souk…. but it is actually the basement of WAFI mall – a tutankhamun themed mall inside a giant glass topped Pyramid. The friendly and helpful waiters areadorned in fez’s  will regularly top up your Shisha pipe throughout the evening. The authentic food is exceptional – Morrocan, Iranian, Lebonese, Egyptian, Turkish – it’s all here. Super …

The Inside Guide I. Jordan’s capital city, Amman

No amount of guidebook research can replace local knowledge. We have handpicked locals and asked them about their city and how they interact with it. They live and work in the city and kindly provided their favourite spots. This is the first in a series. Part I is focussed on Amman – the capital and largest city of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. With a population of four million, Amman has plenty to explore. So meet Hisham, a passionate man who loves his city. Hello Hisham, What you do for a living? I Started working in Amman as a pharmacist in a pharmaceutical company. I worked for six years, then I found that my interests lie in the chemistry of roasting and I have to follow my passions. How long have you been living in the city? I’ve been in Amman for eight years. How did you end up there? I was born in kuwait and then 2 months later we moved to  Irbid, a city 83 km north Amman. I lived there until I graduated from university …

The rise of coffee in Dubai and the Gulf

‘Coffee continues to provide everlasting fascination. As a subject of exploration, it has more plots, twists and turns than an ‘HBO box set’. As a coffee roaster and Q-grader who learnt the trade in Wellington and London, I (rather foolishly) suspected that I would be stepping into the  ‘café scene from the dark ages’ when deciding to move to the United Arab Emirates… I was wrong… Naively wrong. The Gulf countries have taught me alot about coffee and about the things you can do with coffee that I for one had never heard of: did you know in some parts of Syria they like to put a tiny drop of a sperm whale’s stomach mucus into their brewed coffee? Or that in Saudi they stir in sap from the Mastic tree? The Gulf’s fascination with coffee stretches well back into the bowels of history and it is thought that an Arabic philosopher wrote about coffee in 800 to 900 AD. Whilst some authorities claim that coffee originated from the Arabian Peninsula rather than Ethiopia, stating that …

The Troyka Bar is Backstage Dubai

Seventies ‘teatime’ and TV was fun – Getting dressed up in pyjamas to see the spectacle of a large mahogany box (TV) wheeled out. The TV set was the thing that made it exciting. Because seventies TV programmes were not. They were usually made up of  bad actors, wearing various shades of brown  and trying not to wobble the stage set when they closed a door. But the massive mahogany TV can make the long winter nights something to savour. If the picture goes wobbly – just bang it in the right place to get a good picture, which feels like ‘The Fonz’ Fonzerelli in ‘Happy Days’. Because, If the content is a little ‘tongue in cheek’ and it doesn’t run as smoothly as you’d hope… They are some of the reasons for enjoying it. So let us introduce you to the mahogany clad Ascot Hotel in Bur Dubai. With its faux-period facade, and an interior filled with regency fittings that hark back to a time of kitsch grandeur  – It is the seventies sitcom of …

Art Dubai Commissions – Part 3 – Nile Sunset Annex

For the last seven years, Art Dubai has developed a series of non-profit, commissioned works to exhibit alongside the fair. They present an opportunity for visitors to engage with artists often informed by or from the region, who create new works and performances intended to question the fabric of an art fair. In the next three pieces, FNND asks three of the project artists some questions: Doa Aly, Sreshta Rit Premnath and art collective Nile Sunset Annex. For 2016, independent curator and writer Yasmina Reggad, who was tapped to lead the projects and commissions, invited Doa Aly, Sreshta Rit Premnath, Massinissa Selmani, Lydia Ourahmane and Areej Kaoud, Moza Almatrooshi, and Jumairy, as well as the art collective Nile Sunset Annex. Reggad, whose research area is currently focused on the politics of futurity, has aptly titled the series of commissions Into the Unknown, meant as a catalyst to bring forth questions underlying the “mechanism[s] of the production of our fantasies, expectations and projections triggered by this young, 44-year-old federal state [of the United Arab Emirates]”. Commenting on the …